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Introduction

1.1 Background of the study


In todays globalization and rapid technological advancements, dramatic changes
have been happening in higher education, (e.g. the dearth of resources). For classroom
based instruction, the development of the open and distance learning philosophy, the
need to service, the needs of adult learners and many other factors which are the reality
in the Philippines today [1]. As a consequence, higher education institutions have been
increasingly flexible to adjust their delivery system in an effort to respond to this
challenges. Distance Education (DE) has emerged as a legitimate alternative learning
system (ALS) to the more traditional educational system in a number of higher
education institution (HEI) in the Philippines. In addition, the importance of e-learning is
widely recognized as a mean to enhance accessibility and quality of teaching learning
process [2] [3]. E-learning is viewed as a tool for providing opportunities for
marginalized and disadvantaged students or who are unable to attend classes due to
physical, social and economic constraints (ibid). A wider range of students can be
reached anytime and anywhere provided that the Internet connection is available,
therefore increasing the number of school-age children who access to education system
[3].
Demand for e-learning in the Philippines is gaining attention. In terms of growth
rate in e-learning, the study places the Philippines at seventh. The country joins
Azerbaijan, Thailand, Kenya, Slovakia and India with growth rates of between 30
percent and 35 percent[4].

In addition, the global industry have shown increased in number of individuals,


corporations and institutions turning into e-learning as they recognize their effectiveness
and its convenience. It has been expected to reach $ 107 billion by 2015 [5]. In a recent
survey of 1,021 experts, 60% agreed that by 2020 there will be mass adoption of
teleconferencing and distance learningOn average, students in online learning
conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction Steve Lohr
[6].
At some point, some colleges and universities in the Philippines offers distance
learning that allows student to study online. These universities are using virtual learning
environment (VLE) to minimize time effort, cost and promote sustainable and effective
technological and pedagogical learning environment for students and instructors. In the
Philippines, out of 112 only 18 State Universities and Colleges (SUC) are offering
distance learning that is 16.07% and Sultan Kudarat State University is not included in
the list [7].
One of the unique characteristics of public HEIs in the Philippines is that they are
mandated to expand access to quality higher education among lower income and
disadvantaged groups [8], Public HEIs in the Philippines are non-secular entities
classified as State Universities and Colleges (SUC) or Local Colleges and Universities
(LCU). SUCs are funded by the national government through the Philippines Congress
while LCU were run by local government units. Both SUC and LCU may exist in a given
region in the Philippines. However, the condition of regional public HEI in the Philippines
is significantly different from larger universities and colleges across the country; heavily

dominated private institutions and the National University (UP). The institution examined
in this study is a regional public HEI [9].